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Совет национальной безопасности США
Совет национальной безопасности (англ. National Security Council, сокращённо СНБ) — консультативный орган при президенте США для решения наиболее важных вопросов национальной безопасности и внешней политики, и координации действий всех основных ведомств, связанных с указанными вопрос ...

Совет национальной безопасности (англ. National Security Council, сокращённо СНБ) — консультативный орган при президенте США для решения наиболее важных вопросов национальной безопасности и внешней политики, и координации действий всех основных ведомств, связанных с указанными вопросами.

Совет национальной безопасности был создан в 1947 году законом о национальной безопасности. Его созданию послужила убеждённость влиятельных американских политиков в том, что дипломатия Государственного департамента США больше не была способна сдерживать СССР при напряжённых отношениях между СССР и США[1]. Конечной целью его создания было обеспечение согласованности действий между военно-морскими силами, Корпусом морской пехоты, сухопутными войсками и военно-воздушными силами США.

2009 г.:

Заседание СНБ: президент Барак Обама, Госсекретарь Хиллари Клинтон, Министр обороны — Роберт Гейтс, Заместитель начальника ОКНШ — ген. Кэртрайт, директор разведки Деннис Блэр, советник президента Грег Крейг, директор ЦРУ Леон Панетта, заместитель начальника Совета внутренней безопасности Том Донилон, советник президента по национальной безопасности ген. Джеймс «Джим» Джонс и глава президентской администрации Рэм Эмануел

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30 апреля, 04:43

The Fruits of the Arab Spring Have Bore an Open Air Slave Market in Libya

Regime change was all the rage under the Obama administration -- especially in the middle east. The pitch was MUH democracy needed to be exported to savage lands, whose populations were largely an illiterate ensemble of archaic tribes hellbent on blowing each other up over the interpretation of their fictional holy books. Here was two time failed Presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, flippantly opining about the fate of Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi. Since then, Libya has been a staging ground for terrorist activities and an open hole in North Africa by which an endless stream of migrants use to enter Italy. All of the weapons stockpiled by Gaddafi were taken by 'rebels' who used them to take over large swaths of land in Syria and Iraq. Our embassy was run over, and our Ambassador killed. All of this because we wanted to 'free' the Libyan people from their misery -- which, ironically, resulted in a greater and deeper misery than they could've ever imagined. So what has the liberal/neocon policy of regime change done for Libya lately? Fucking slavery (please contain your outrage). According to a report by the UN Migration Agency, Libyan rebels are capturing poor Africans seeking to enter Europe, housing them in parking lots and make-shift prisons, in order to sell them on the open market like the days of antiquity, for as little as $100. Source: CNBC "We talk to returning migrants every day and we hear this stories every day — stories of exploitation, psychological, physical and sexual abuse," Giuseppe Loprete, Niger-based chief of mission of the UN International Organization for Migration, told CNBC recently. For thousands of migrants paying to be smuggled out of North Africa, Libya remains the only route to Europe, and is a "black hole" where many disappear into exploitation, he said, adding: "The situation is only getting worse."   The going price for kidnapped migrants ranges from $200 to $500 in Libya, according to survivors who have returned to the IOM's transit center. In the last few months, the organization has arranged for the repatriation of 1,500 migrants back to their homes, which include Nigeria, Senegal and Gambia.   Libya is a gateway to Italy from Africa, with an estimated 25,000 migrants having crossed the Mediterranean Sea this year. Although Italy has taken measures to stem the flow of migrants from Libya, IOM data suggest crossings are on pace to challenge the nearly 182,000 migrants who landed in Italy last year.   Former National Security Council officer under Obama, Eric Pelofsky laments, "It is a terrible situation thriving in the shadows created by the larger conflict in Libya."   Leonard Doyle, Spokesperson of the Director General at the International Organization for Migration (IOM), sums it up: "Migrants who go to Libya while trying to get to Europe, have no idea of the torture archipelago that awaits them just over the border." He grimly adds, African migrants "become commodities to be bought, sold and discarded when they have no more value." Content originally published at iBankCoin.com

30 апреля, 01:14

What change has Trump brought to Washington? - Inside Story

Donald Trump became the 45th President of the United States with fewer votes than his opponent. And his approval ratings after 100 days are lower than any previous president. Critics say it's been a chaotic and controversial start...but consistent with his electioneering. He's failed to fulfil some campaign promises and had to change his mind on others. And he's surprised the world with direct U.S. intervention in the Syrian conflict and his warnings to North Korea. He did say he wanted to shake up Washington, and by all accounts he has. But where is he going to take the United States, and the rest of the world, over the next four years? Presenter: Jane Dutton Guests: John Hudak, Deputy Director at the Center for Effective Public Management at the Brookings Institution. Raisa Sheynberg, Former Director for International Economic Affairs at the National Security Council at The White House, under the Obama administration. Brad Thomas, Author of "The Trump Factor" - Subscribe to our channel: http://aje.io/AJSubscribe - Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AJEnglish - Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aljazeera - Check our website: http://www.aljazeera.com/

29 апреля, 19:37

The Trump Doctrine is made of mixed messages

The new administration is still struggling to articulate its foreign policy vision in a clear and consistent way.

29 апреля, 17:54

GARDEN BRUNCH EDITION -- TRUMP’s first 100 days -- North Korea test-fires missile -- BRET STEPHENS’ NYT debut – SPOTTED on WHCD party circuit -- WEEKEND READS -- B’DAY: Hallie Jackson

Good Saturday morning. It’s been 100 days since Donald Trump was sworn into office. Happy White House Correspondents Dinner!OVERHEARD last night at the United Talent Agency party at Fiola Mare: “I didn’t recognize you since you weren’t on TV.”LEAD OF THE DAY -- From Jennifer Steinhauer on A14 of the NYT: “Owners of ancient water vessels are likely to be quite pleased with the Senate, which voted overwhelmingly this month to generally exempt them from a fire-retardant materials requirement. But that is about the extent of bipartisan legislation to emerge from Congress during the first 100 days of unified Republican governance.” http://nyti.ms/2oIDVLG-- HE DOESN’T CARE … BUT HERE’S THE W.H.’S FIRST 100 DAYS VIDEO -- http://bit.ly/2qpBBpp**SUBSCRIBE to Playbook: http://politi.co/2lQswbh WORTH THE CLICK – “(Almost) 100 Days of Page One Headlines About Presidents Trump, Obama and Bush,” by NYT’s Larry Buchanan, K.K. Rebecca Lai and Anjali Singhvi: http://nyti.ms/2oJ5l3V ABOUT THOSE 100 DAYS -- “Trump’s mad dash to 100 days,” by Josh Dawsey, Tara Palmeri and Ben White: “President Donald Trump has dismissed the idea of measuring the success of his first 100 days in office as ‘ridiculous.’ But the president and his top officials have made a number of startling moves this week with the deadline in mind, and Trump has privately obsessed over getting a win before the cutoff. The last-minute moves have frustrated some of Trump's allies, caused a scramble across his government and proved once again that decisions are made by one man on his whims - and often with an eye to his media coverage. To his supporters, it looks like the kind of action Trump promised as a candidate. ‘That’s how a CEO makes decisions,’ said Rep. Chris Collins, a New York Republican.” http://politi.co/2pICaOM-- TRUMP’S GOOD FOR BUSINESS -- “After 100 Days of Trump Presidency, Advisers Say Client Worry Has Eased,” by WSJ’s Daisy Maxey: Many of Mr. Trump’s proposals could turn out to be stimulative to the economy, [financial adviser Nicole] Kianka says she and other Wescott advisers told clients. Continue to invest for the long term, they advised. Clients were relieved to hear that and stayed with their plans, she says, which has paid off for them as the stock market has rallied. (The S&P 500 has risen about 7% this year.) Similar scenarios have played out at financial advisories across the country, in blue states and red, as investors have put their hysteria or euphoria in check.” http://on.wsj.com/2qijDpv-- THE OPPOSITION -- The DCCC is out with a memo on how they see Trump impacting the 2018 election. http://politi.co/2qiy392THE REINFORCEMENTS -- “Lawmakers sing DeMint’s praises ahead of ouster,” by Seung Min Kim, Burgess Everett and Anna: “Allies of former Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) on Capitol Hill are circulating a letter praising his influence in the conservative movement as the firebrand faces imminent ouster as president from the Heritage Foundation, according to multiple sources. The letter, which is being led by Republican Study Committee Chairman Mark Walker of North Carolina, has already collected more a dozen signatures from conservative lawmakers. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) is also involved in the effort.“‘While we’ve not always agreed with every decision -- your character, competence and integrity are unblemished in the political arena,’ reads a draft of the letter, obtained by POLITICO. ‘In this rhetoric-driven time of divisive behavior, you have added solutions to an honest critique.’As the leader of the conservative think tank, ‘your impact has reached far beyond the political arena impacting the very culture of conservative thought in the 21st century,’ the letter continues. ‘Your steadfast devotion to the principles you have stood with us to advocate for, and the as yet unseen impact of the wisdom you have instilled in so many, already stand as a testament to your true accomplishments.’” http://politi.co/2pILuSM-- HERITAGE HASN’T ANNOUNCED who will succeed DeMint, but the direction of the group and its political arm, Heritage Action, will be closely watched by GOP lawmakers. The group has drawn significant fire from Republican leaders and some conservatives in recent years as it has grown more political, putting the group at odds with leadership over a number of legislative issues.K STREET FILES -- “MPAA Shakeup: Chief Chris Dodd to Be Replaced by Charles Rivkin,” by Variety’s Brent Lang and Ted Johnson: “He will be replaced by Charles Rivkin, the former assistant secretary of state for economic and business affairs under President Barack Obama. Though not as well known as Dodd, Rivkin boasts film business and Beltway ties. He was president of The Jim Henson Company and ambassador to France and Monaco, and is considered to be well connected in Washington D.C. He will join the organization on Sept. 5. Dodd will remain onboard for a short time, with a goal of completing the transition by the beginning of next year.” http://bit.ly/2oSGJBdBRET STEPHENS’ NYT debut -- “Climate of Complete Certainty” --“Claiming total certainty about the science traduces the spirit of science and creates openings for doubt whenever a climate claim proves wrong. Demanding abrupt and expensive changes in public policy raises fair questions about ideological intentions. Censoriously asserting one’s moral superiority and treating skeptics as imbeciles and deplorables wins few converts. None of this is to deny climate change or the possible severity of its consequences. But ordinary citizens also have a right to be skeptical of an overweening scientism. They know — as all environmentalists should — that history is littered with the human wreckage of scientific errors married to political power.” http://nyti.ms/2qg2jkQSAD! – “Analysis shows declining engagement with Trump’s tweets,” by AP’s Jonathan Lemire and Maureen Linke: “His ‘FAKE NEWS’ tweets don’t rocket like they once did. His exclamation points (!) don't excite quite the same old way. ... The number of people engaging with Trump on Twitter — through likes, retweets, quotes and replies — has gradually declined, according to an Associated Press analysis of his feed and the users who read, react and propel his words throughout the Twittersphere. ... Even with the recent tapering off, bursts with exclamation points or capital letters get more favorites and retweets. Tweets mentioning ‘Russia’ or ‘fake news’ spark far more interaction than those that don’t.” http://apne.ws/2oSyrcg-- SPEAKING OF TRUMP’S TWEETS -- @realDonaldTrump at 7:26 p.m.: “North Korea disrespected the wishes of China & its highly respected President when it launched, though unsuccessfully, a missile today. Bad!” … at 10:40 p.m.:“.@LouDobbs just stated that ‘President Trump’s successes are unmatched in recent presidential history’ Thank you Lou!”FOR YOUR RADAR -- “North Korea test-fires ballistic missile in defiance of world pressure,” by Reuters’ Jack Kim and Ju-min Park in Seoul: “North Korea test-fired a ballistic missile on Saturday shortly after U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned that failure to curb Pyongyang's nuclear and ballistic missile programs could lead to ‘catastrophic consequences.’ U.S. and South Korean officials said the test, from an area north of the North Korean capital, appeared to have failed, in what would be the North's fourth straight unsuccessful missile test since March. The test came as the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier group arrived in waters near the Korean peninsula, where it began exercises with the South Korean navy on Saturday, about 12 hours after the failed launch, a South Korean navy official said.” http://reut.rs/2pIsUtGCOMING ATTRACTIONS -- “EU leaders show firm united front ahead of Brexit talks,” by AP’s Raf Casert and Lorne Cook in Brussels: “European Union leaders vowed Saturday to stand shoulder-to-shoulder behind their negotiating team during the divorce proceedings with Britain and warned that demands from British Prime Minister Theresa May will be dealt with ‘firmly.’ The 27 EU leaders in Brussels finalized the cornerstones of their negotiating stance within minutes of starting a short summit, a month after the British leader triggered two years of exit talks on March 29. The negotiations themselves are to open shortly after Britain holds an early election on June 8. ‘Guidelines adopted unanimously. EU27 firm and fair political mandate for the #Brexit talks is ready,’ EU Council President Donald Tusk tweeted.” http://apne.ws/2pg4dTTRUMP’S SATURDAY -- Trump will head to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, tonight for a rally. VP MIKE PENCE is going to Newport News to attend the christening of the USS Indiana. He’s going to Harrisburg as well.HAPPENING TODAY -- On Trump’s 100th day in office, the League of Conservation Voters is joining thousands of people at the People’s Climate March in Washington with satellite marches across the country and around the world, to send a message to the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress about their environmental policies.YOU’RE INVITED -- SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-W.Va.) will join us for the Playbook Interview Thursday at 9 a.m. at the Washington Court Hotel (525 New Jersey Avenue, NW). The government funding fight will be in full swing, and Manchin will be fighting for coal miner benefits. Manchin is a fascinating figure, and we hope you’ll join the conversation, which is being sponsored by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. RSVP http://bit.ly/2phgWGuSPORTS BLINK -- “John Wall and Wizards turn back Hawks, 115-99, move on to Eastern Conference semifinals,” by WaPo’s Candace Buckner in Atlanta: “Washington Wizards point guard John Wall ended his night early, walking off the court with the clock stopped late in the final quarter. He deserved the proper ovation for a road villain — hard handshakes from teammates and scattered boos from a salty crowd — after closing out the Atlanta Hawks.“As the Wizards defeated Atlanta, 115-99, in Game 6 of a first-round playoff series and advance to meet the top-seeded Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals, Wall stamped this elimination game with a performance suited for franchise lore. In the final quarter, as the Wizards nearly lost a huge lead, Wall outscored the Hawks by two, pouring in 19 of his game-high 42 points. The performance earned Wall and his team a date with Boston, where the best-of-seven series starts Sunday at 1 p.m.” http://wapo.st/2qpQOGJSCOOP – “White House eyeing Clarke for Homeland Security post,” by Andrew Restuccia, Josh Dawsey and Daniel Lippman: “The White House is considering David Clarke, the sheriff of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, for a position at the Department of Homeland Security, three people familiar with the administration’s planning told POLITICO. Clarke is in line to be appointed as assistant secretary at DHS’ Office of Partnership and Engagement, which coordinates outreach to state, local and tribal officials and law enforcement. ... He has come under fire in recent days amid revelations about the case of Terrill Thomas, who died of dehydration last year at the Milwaukee County Jail after guards turned off the water in his cell.” http://politi.co/2oVvZ5T-- “Former Director of Anti-Immigration Group Set to Be Named Ombudsman at U.S. Immigration Agency,” by ProPublica’s Marcelo Rochabrun and Jessica Huseman: “Julie Kirchner is expected to be named as ombudsman to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services on Monday ... Kirchner was from 2005 to 2015 director of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a group that has advocated for extreme restrictions on immigration.” http://bit.ly/2prMmrD-- “White House Weighs Kicking Out Sebastian Gorka,” by The Daily Beast’s Lachlan Markay and Asawin Suebsaeng: “The Trump administration is actively exploring options to remove controversial national security aide Sebastian Gorka from the White House and place him at another federal agency, multiple sources tell The Daily Beast. ... Another said he has been entirely excluded from day-to-day policy-making at the National Security Council in the meantime. Gorka’s looming departure from the White House, which one of the sources described as imminent, comes amid mounting controversy over his involvement with a far-right Hungarian group notorious for its collaboration with the Nazi regime during the second World War. ... [T]he White House has been seeking a position for Gorka that does not require a security clearance.” http://thebea.st/2oSFuBP -- “Trump names anti-abortion leader Yoest to top HHS post,” by Rachana Pradhan: “Charmaine Yoest, tapped to be assistant secretary of public affairs, is a senior fellow at American Values. She is the former president of Americans United for Life, which has been instrumental in advancing anti-abortion legislation at the state level to restrict access to the procedure. Her appointment was quickly panned by Democratic lawmakers and prominent abortion rights organizations.” http://politi.co/2pguUbbFIRST PERSON -- “Our White House Reporters Recall Their Most Vivid Moments of Trump’s First 100 Days” -- with vignettes by Mark Landler, Julie Hirschfeld Davis, Glenn Thrush, Maggie Haberman, Mike Shear, Peter Baker: http://nyti.ms/2pgnrsKTHE PLAYBOOK INTERVIEW: Jeff MasonWhite House Correspondents Association President Jeff Mason didn’t know who was going to be president when he ran for the organization’s leadership in 2014. Donald Trump wasn’t even a candidate at that point. But Trump's White House’s almost daily back and forth with the Fourth Estate has thrust the Reuters’ reporter into the forefront of major battles over press access. “We’ve worked hard since the night president-elect Trump was elected to build a constructive relationship with his team,” said Mason, whose term ends in July. “That’s the type of thing that we would have highlighted at the correspondents dinner if President Trump and his aides had come to show that despite the significant tension in the relationship between the press corps and the White House we can still come together and we can work together on issues that affect both sides.”Despite Trump and his team skipping the annual dinner tonight, Mason said the show will go on. “I’m confident that it’s just going to be a great night and I’m looking forward to celebrating the First Amendment with my colleagues in the White House press corps and our supporters and guests and I am happy that we will be able to show that this dinner is not about the presidency, it’s about the press. That’s what we are going to show and it’s going to be great.”OTHER HIGHLIGHTS -- WHAT SKIPPING WHCD MEANS: “Honestly, I just think it speaks for itself … It was up to them not to come and the signal they send with that is theirs to send.”DESPITE TENSION, ACCESS GOOD: “Despite a lot of that tension that people see and feel one of the main things that the White House Correspondents Association works on is access for journalists and access under President Trump has been good. We’ve had several press conferences. We’ve had lots of opportunities to see the president and his advisors govern and that’s important. … At the beginning of President Trump’s administration there were legitimate concerns that we would be moved out of the White House press room or not allowed to fly on Air Force One. Those are things that we fought for and we’re still in the press room and the pool is on Air Force One.”W.H. CHECKS IN WITH WHCA: “The results of having worked on a working relationship between the WHCA board and Sean Spicer and his team has been -- they do check in with us when they have questions about something related to the press and we come to them with our concerns. We both exchange concerns and that doesn’t mean the tension has gone away, but there have certainly been dividends of the working relationship. I would describe it as a constructive relationship.” -- “Trump boycott puts spotlight on correspondents’ chief,” by Hadas Gold: http://politi.co/2pg7UsMSCRUBBED -- “EPA website removes climate science site from public view after two decades,” by WaPo’s Chris Mooney and Juliet Eilperin: “The Environmental Protection Agency announced Friday evening that its website would be ‘undergoing changes’ to better represent the new direction the agency is taking, triggering the removal of several agency websites containing detailed climate data and scientific information. One of the websites that appeared to be gone had been cited to challenge statements made by the EPA’s new administrator, Scott Pruitt. ... The changes came less than 24 hours before thousands of protesters were set to march in Washington and around the country in support of political action to push back against the Trump administration’s rollbacks of former president Barack Obama’s climate policies.” With a J.P. Freire cameo http://wapo.st/2qirEdWMEDIAWATCH – “Advanced Talks Underway For New Conservative Network Amid Fears Fox News Moving Too Far Left,” by Mediaite’s Rachel Stockman: “On the heels of major shakeups at the Fox News Network, an alternative conservative network is being actively discussed amongst conservative fat cats. A well-placed source close to the proposal tells Mediaite that serious discussions are underway to create an alternative conservative cable network on the belief that the Fox News Network is moving too far to the left. ... The potential aim? Putting ‘the old band’ back together. There are certainly plenty of (out-of-work?) conservative powerhouses to pick from that could star on a new network, and perhaps even some executives from within Fox News who might be lured by the new opportunity.” http://bit.ly/2oSLE5b-- “Conservative Radio Host Hugh Hewitt in Talks for MSNBC Show, Sources Say,” by Yashar Ali in NYMag: “MSNBC is in talks with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt about creating a show for him on weekend evenings, four well-placed sources at the network tell Daily Intelligencer. Initially MSNBC was keen on having Hewitt host a program on weekend mornings, but that idea is off the table because Hewitt wants to be on in the evening, according to two sources. At one point, network management also floated moving Joy-Ann Reid’s popular weekend program AM Joy to the afternoon to serve as a lead-in for Hewitt and help jumpstart his ratings, but that plan has seemingly been dropped.” http://nym.ag/2prAVAA--“Milo Yiannopoulos Is Starting a New, Ugly, For-Profit Troll Circle,” by Vanity Fair’s Tina Nguyen: “Milo Yiannopoulos, the former tech editor at Breitbart ... told the Hive that he would be launching a new media venture in the coming weeks with what he says is a $12 million investment from backers whose identities he is protecting ... The business, which will be called Milo Inc., will be even more focused on stoking the sort of ugly political conflict that’s closer to the surface than ever in these early months of the Trump administration.” http://bit.ly/2qgiZve--“Fox News Breaks With AP And Top TV Networks For Election Day Polling,” by HuffPost’s Michael Calderone: “Fox News has broken with the National Election Pool, a consortium of five major television networks and The Associated Press that share the costs and results of exit polls for national elections. … According to the 2016 exit polls, Clinton was expected to win the battleground states of North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Florida — and in effect, the presidency.” http://huff.to/2pIkRgsPOLITICO PRO hires – Marty Kady and Carrie Budoff Brown email the staff: “Cristina Rivero, graphics reporter, joins the DataPoint team early next month to cover financial services, tax and trade. She has worked as a visual journalist for The Washington Post, New York Times, Philadelphia Inquirer and Los Angeles Times. ... Taylor Thomas is a DataPoint reporter covering financial services, tax and trade. Prior to joining Politico, she worked in communications consulting at Hamilton Place Strategies ... Also next month, Steven Overly is joining the Pro Tech team to cover the tech lobbying and influence beat. Steven comes from The Washington Post, where he’s a reporter and editor on the Post’s Innovations blog.”--DAVID ROHDE, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who is now Reuters’ national security investigations editor and previously a foreign correspondent and investigative reporter at The New York Times, has been named news director for the New Yorker’s website.LATE-NIGHT BEST – COLBERT’s “Late Show”: “99 Days in 99 seconds:Here is a look back at the 99-day dumpster fire you just lived through.” 2-min. video http://bit.ly/2oVByBhCLICKERS – “The nation’s cartoonists on the week in politics,” edited by Matt Wuerker – 11 funnies http://politi.co/2qeDRAs– “The 100 most Donald Trump quotes about his first 100 days: ‘I really just see the bigness of it all,’” by Shane Goldmacher: http://politi.co/2oSyNjlDATA DU JOUR -- “100 days of Trump claims” – per WaPo Fact Checker: “Trump has been in office for 100 days. As of our latest update on day 98, we’ve counted 452 false or misleading claims.” http://wapo.st/2pIzl01GREAT WEEKEND READS, curated by Daniel Lippman:--“What Bullets Do to Bodies,” by Jason Fagone in HuffPost Highline: “The gun debate would change in an instant if Americans witnessed the horrors that trauma surgeons confront everyday.” http://huff.to/2qexoZ6 (h/t Longform.org)--“Uber vs AirBnB: do you have to be an a**hole to found a brilliant start-up?” by Ian Leslie in The New Statesman: “Time after time, [Uber founder Travis] Kalanick makes the risky but right decision after rejecting the advice of reasonable colleagues. It takes a certain kind of character to behave like this. Yes, it helps to be brave, resilient, and other admirable things – but it also helps to be an a***hole.” http://bit.ly/2oSU25p--“We Need Conscious Robots,” by Ryota Kanai in Nautilus Magazine: “How introspection and imagination make robots better.” http://bit.ly/2qmxCtI--“Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un Risk Nuclear War” – Der Spiegel: “With prospects growing that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un could soon have long-range nuclear missiles at his disposal, Donald Trump is threatening a military response. Suddenly nuclear war seems possible, but how great is the threat of escalation?” http://bit.ly/2ptb3pV--“The race to build the world’s first sex robot,” by Jenny Kleeman in The Guardian: “The $30bn sex tech industry is about to unveil its biggest blockbuster: a $15,000 robot companion that talks, learns, and never says no.” http://bit.ly/2oPEsGR--“Reverend Resistance,” by Tommy Tomlinson in Esquire: “After a rousing speech at last summer’s Democratic National Convention, Rev. William Barber II might have become the president’s pastor. Instead, he’s now the face of a progressive Christian protest movement that’s taking its fight from North Carolina to the White House.” http://bit.ly/2pboWbR--“Rod Dreher’s Monastic Vision,” by Joshua Rothman in The New Yorker: “An orthodox Christian says his side has lost the culture wars—and argues for a “strategic retreat.” http://bit.ly/2pGcPoH--“My Life As a Failed Artist,” by Jerry Saltz in New York: “Decades after giving up the dream for good, an art critic returns to the work he’d devoted his life to, then abandoned — but never really forgot.” http://bit.ly/2pG5PrA (h/t ALDaily.com)--“And Then There Was Hannity,” by Felix Gillette in Bloomberg Businessweek: “Bill O’Reilly. Roger Ailes. Megyn Kelly. One by one, the biggest personalities at Fox News have left the building.” https://bloom.bg/2oEI1Vd--“The Living Disappeared,” by Bridget Huber in California Sunday Magazine: “During Argentina’s military dictatorship, some 500 babies were born in secret torture centers or kidnapped. A group of grandmothers spent the next four decades searching for them, becoming activists, then icons. But hundreds remained missing. One of them was named Martín.” http://bit.ly/2qegGpG--“The Jew with the Gold Coin,” by Ewa Tartakowsky in Books & Ideas: “In Poland, one can purchase a strange good luck charm to become rich: the picture of a Jew holding a gold coin. What is the significance of this popular re-appropriation of the figure of the Jew in the context of post-Holocaust Poland? And how conscious are anti-Semitic prejudices in this representation?” http://bit.ly/2qeeAcd (h/t TheBrowser.com)--“The (Re)selling of Maria Sharapova,” by Sarah Nicole Prickett in Racquet and Longreads: “On the longevity of Maria Sharapova, who has built a brand beyond the bounds of her tennis stardom that has made her incredibly wealthy, but still striving for more.” http://bit.ly/2oSOKa3SPOTTED: Justice Elena Kagan, WaPo’s Ruth Marcus and Suzy Cohen at their annual Peking Gourmet Inn Birthday Bash, with Judge Merrick Garland and other friends (h/t Matt Gerson) ... Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters yesterday waiting for a cab at Union Station, acoustic guitar in hand … Gov. Chris Christie this morning in line for Cinnabon at a Maryland 1-95 rest area -- pic http://bit.ly/2pvyX3STRANSITIONS -- Shaylyn Hynes starts on Monday as the press secretary for Secretary Rick Perry’s Department of Energy. She was previously communications director for Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas). ... Maeve Coyle has started as a senior associate at Precision Strategies; she is an alum of American Bridge 21st Century and the DSCC. … Stephen Spaulding is returning to Common Cause in May as chief of strategy and external relations. He departed the Federal Election Commission this week after serving as special counsel to FEC Commissioner Ann M. Ravel, an outspoken critic of agency.FUN CLICK -- IJR’s White House Correspondents’ Yearbook, “The Labrador,” this year includes faux snide comments on reporters by President Trump using a red Sharpie. The “Senior Superlatives” section features Playbookers like Jim Acosta, Olivier Knox, Olivia Nuzzi, Zeke Miller, Tara Palmeri “most likely to get yelled at for no reason,” Jake Tapper, Jonathan Karl, Glenn Thrush, and Steve Bannon “most likely to never die.” http://bit.ly/2qpB6LGWHCD PARTY CIRCUIT -- SPOTTED last night at David and Katherine Bradley’s home for their annual dinner to kick off WHCD weekend: Jeff Goldberg, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, VA Secretary David Shulkin, Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (R-N.D.), Sir Richard Branson, Queen Noor, Denis McDonough, Josh Bolten, Susan Rice and Ian Cameron, Jake Sullivan, Lisa Monaco, Frances Townsend, Jen Psaki, Alyse Nelson, Raj Shah, Maya Macguineas, Michael Calderone, Brian Stelter, John Dickerson, Martha Raddatz, Mary Louise Kelly, Jeremy and Robyn Bash, Megan Murphy and Hilary Rosen, Emily Lenzner, Rob Hendin, Kate Glassman Bennett, Tony Podesta, Jay Carney, Juleanna Glover, Christa Robinson. Big thank you to Steve Clemons and his Playbook shout out! Great conversations had by all at Table 14 with Clemons, Heather Podesta and Stephen Kessler, Sam Feist, Javier Palomarez, Katie Rogers and Pam Stevens. --Mother Nature Network hosted their third annual WHC Jam at the Hamilton last night. This year’s event was emceed by CNN’s Brooke Baldwin and featured Billy Bob Thornton and the Boxmasters, The Rolling Stone’s Chuck Leavell, and four journalist-led bands, with a special appearance by Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary.SPOTTED: Molly Ball, Igor Bobic, Steve Clemons, Steve Liesman, Ari Melber, Dana Bash, Tom Fanning, Ari Melber, Bob Costa, Fred and Kim Humphries, Ed O’Keefe, Michael Moroney and Francesca Chambers, Byron Tau, Jon Decker, Neil Chatterjee, Rebecca Haller, Gindy, Suhail Khan and Jana Plat, Heidi Przybyla, Will Rabbe and Brittany Prime, Mary Hager, Lauren Culbertson, Rebecca Blumenstein, Katelyn and Benny Johnson, Elizabeth Landers, Ron and Sara Bonjean, Helene Cooper, David Corn, Maureen Dowd, Rashida Jones, Suzanne Kianpour, Tal Kopan, Bill McQuillen, Ben and Ashley Chang, Carol Lee, Paul Beckett, Kristen Welker, Michael LaRosa, Jesse Rodriguez, Michael Steel, Doug Heye, Keach Hagey, Matt Wolking, Amanda Lee House, Brody Mullins, Paul Kane, Mark Paustenbach, Brianna Keilar, Rodell Mollineau, James Grimaldi, Erik Smith and Edith Gregson, Tim and Kiki Burger, Robbie Myers, Nikki Schwab, Ellen Mitchell, Nihal Krishan.SPOTTED at the United Talent Agency party at Fiola Mare, hosted by Jay Sures and Dan Abrams: Chris Licht, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), Paul Strauss, Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Padma Lakshmi, Ilyse Hogue, Don Lemon, Nolan Gould, Tammy Haddad, Jake Tapper, Brian Kilmeade, Jessica Williams, Mike Allen, Dana Bash, Maria and Fabio Trabocchi, Kal Penn, Jim and Autumn Vandehei, Billy Bob Thornton, Matthew Modine, Jeanne Wolak, Kimball Stroud and David White, René Jones, Jim Acosta, Mike Brune, Tim Burger, Patricia Murphy, Raúl Alvillar, Lauren Pratapas, Bob Draper and Kirsten Powers, Nick Owens, Heather Podesta, Steve Clemons, Cenk Uygur, Tara Palmeri, Michael Grynbaum, Andrew Green, Steve Hilton, Mark Ein, Gary and Mary Dell’Abate, Amb. Howard Gutman, Jon Ledecky.SPOTTED at the Capitol File party at the British Ambassador’s residence: Amb. Kim and Lady Darroch, Lee Satterfield and Patrick Steel, Missy Biden and Rod O’Connor, Penny Lee, Tammy Haddad, Janet Donovan, John McCarthy, Eun Yang, Marc Adelman, Melissa Moss, Tony Podesta, Nick Schmit, Eric Fanning, Sid Mashburn, Tracy and Adam Bernstein, Pete Selfridge and Parita Shah, Geoff and Ann Morrell, Clyde Tuggle and Mary Streett, Matt Mowers, Brian Hook, Jonathan Karl, Zeke Miller, Kasie Hunt, Ashley Parker, David Urban, Marty Obst, Robert Allbritton, Irish Amb. Anne Anderson, Meredith Merrill, Kimball Stroud, Erin McPike, Maria Teresa Kumar, Kelly Collis, Sara and Ron Bonjean, Mark and Sally Ein, Jeff Zeleny, Tanya Snyder and Kiersten Allen, Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.), Lesli Foster, Jim and Autumn VandeHei, Capricia Marshall.SPOTTED at last night’s “A Toast to the First Amendment” party hosted by RealClearPolitics, Distilled Spirits Council, National Restaurant Association and Beer Institute: Carl Cannon, Brian Stelter, Lynn Sweet, Mike Memoli, Michael Calderone, Zeke Miller, Justin Sink, Emily Goodin, Carl Bernstein, Ted Johnson, Felicia Schwartz, Michael LaRosa, John McIntyre, Tom Bevan, Niels Lesniewski, AshLee Strong, Francesca Chambers, Jeff Davis, Judy Davis, Frank Coleman, Lauren French, Jim McGreevy, Erin Waters, Kraig Naasz, Kevin Madden, Craig Gordon, Edie Emery, Steve Danon, Cicely Simpson, Barbara Polk, Tommy Burr, Josh and Blair Holmes, Matt Gorman, Virginia Coyne, Jesse Rodriguez, Elise Foley, Jesse Hunt, Neil Grace, Michael and Mary Kathryn Steel, Abby Livingston, Molly Ball, Rebecca Berg and Brendan Buck, Kurt Bardella, Laurent Crenshaw, Fred Hill, Jesse Rodriguez, Kevin Madden, A.B Stoddard, Trent Edwards, Matt Walker, Leslie Shedd, Mariel Saez, Adam Hodge, Benny Johnson, Doug Heye, Jeremy Adler, Colin Reed, Brian Rogers, Joe Pounder, Jesse Hunt, Guy Benson, Matt Mowers and Cassie Spodak, Matt Haller, John Ashbrook.WELCOME TO THE WORLD -- Emily Staniszewski, SVP at Global Strategy Group and an Ogilvy alum, and Brian Staniszewski welcomed Benjamin Robert Staniszewski, born at 11:02 p.m. last Saturday, weighing in at 7 lbs., 3 oz., and 20.5 inches long. Pic http://bit.ly/2qeEcWGBIRTHDAYS: NBC News’ Hallie Jackson (hat tip: Frank Thorp) ... Julie Whiston, outgoing executive director and chief administrator of the White House Correspondents’ Association since 1995, who has carried the torch for 22 annual dinners ... Melody Barnes, co-founder and principal at MBSquared Solutions, senior fellow at UVA’s Miller Center; and an Obama alum … Reggie Love, Obama’s former body man and VP/partner at Transatlantic Holdings, is 35 ... Nadeam Elshami, celebrating by spending quality time with his family and their new puppy, Bric (h/t Drew Hammill) … Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) is 67 ... Anatole Jenkins, an Obama reelect alum who worked on Clinton’s campaign in Nevada and North Carolina during the primary and led coordinated efforts for Clinton in Minnesota during the general (h/t Tyler Barnes) ... NBC News digital reporter Alexandra Villarreal (h/t Colby Bermel) ... Karen Dynan, nonresident senior fellow at the Peterson Institute, Treasury alum, and wife of the fabulous Doug Elmendorf ... Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) is 63 ... Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.) is 71 ... Jerome Davis … Peter Kiley, VP at C-SPAN ... Quinn Bradlee (Josiah Quinn Crowninshield Bradlee), son of Benjamin Crowninshield Bradlee and Sally Quinn, is 35 – he’s celebrating with friends at Cafe Milano as he always does ... Jeannie Etchart ... Eric Pierce, former chief of staff to the Secretary of the Air Force and a CNAS, Ben Nelson and NSC alum ... Ari Isaacman Bevacqua, director of communications at the NYT (h/t Jordan Cohen) ... Damien LaVera ... Allison Zelman, co-founder of Citizen 44 … Michael Castine of Ridgeway Partners and a Reagan WH and NSC alum … Jeff Poor, editor of Breitbart TV, is 41 … Dawn Kopecki, business editor at the San Antonio Express-News and a Bloomberg alum ... Gentry Collins, partner at CAP Public Affairs … Gabriel Gatehouse, foreign correspondent for Newsnight on BBC2, based in London, formerly posted in E Africa, Libya, Iraq, Russia/Ukraine ... DNC and DCCC alum Alex Wright ... former Rep. Jim Ryun (R-Kans.) is 7-0 ... Courtney Chandler, deputy press secretary for Sen. Blumenthal ...... Josh Sharp, co-founder and managing director, advertising at Advoc8, who celebrated at Jack Rose last night and announced to friends that he and wife Melissa are expecting their first child this November (h/t Pounder) ... David Gelber, a “60 Minutes” alum and now founding executive producer of Emmy-award winning “Years of Living Dangerously” on Showtime (h/t Jon Meyersohn) ... Pat Shortridge, a Rubio alum, is 5-0 ... Nate Sandals, Harvard Law grad and a Durbin alum ... Gail Hoffman, president of The Hoffman Group and spox for family of Jim and Sarah Brady, and advisor to law enforcement leaders across the country ... WaPo photographer Melina Mara ... Geng Ngarmboonanant of Bain and a Yale Daily News, Brookings, and WaPo alum ... Meg Greenhalgh ... Kara Panzer, analyst at Goldman Sachs ... Kristen Day, executive director at Democrats for Life of America … Lynne Weil, comms. director and senior policy advisor for Rep. Diane DeGette (D-Colo.), celebrating by joining in the Climate March (after a traditional Swedish-style birthday breakfast in bed, of course (hubby tip: Nils Bruzelius) ... Cara Morris Stern of New Paradigm Strategy Group … Kate Whitworth, daughter of Kirk and Beth Whitworth … Nick Horrock ... Winslow Morris Noel, son of Jon and Kate Disston Noel ... Matt Onek ... Scott Shadian, managing partner/CEO at Sayara ... Evelyn Call ... Dan Bayens ... Rob Hoppin, president and CEO of Hillenby ... Rob Bassin, political director at AIPAC, who is responsible for so many consultants, staffers and members getting to visit Israel … Jennifer Ford (h/ts Teresa Vilmain) ... Rich Folkers is 58 ... John Gonsalves ... Jim Merlino ... disgraced financier Bernie Madoff is 79 ... Jerry Seinfeld is 63 ... Daniel Day-Lewis is 6-0 ... Michelle Pfeiffer is 59 ... Uma Thurman is 47 ... International Tennis Hall of Famer Andre Agassi is 47 (h/ts AP)THE SHOWS, by @MattMackowiak, filing from Austin:--CBS’s “Face the Nation”: President Donald Trump. Panel: Julie Pace, Ed O’Keefe, Major Garrett and Margaret Brennan … preview of live CBS “This Morning” broadcast from the White House with Norah O’Donnell and Charlie Rose--NBC’s “Meet the Press”: Vice President Mike Pence … Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Sen. Angus King (I-Maine). Panel: Helene Cooper, Chris Matthews, Danielle Pletka and Nicolle Wallace--“Fox News Sunday”: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). Panel: Michael Needham, Donna Edwards, Rich Lowry and Juan Williams … “Power Player of the Week” with ATF chief of firearms operations division Jim Ferguson--CNN’s “State of the Union”: Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) … comedian Samantha Bee. Panel: Ana Navarro, Van Jones, Jennifer Granholm and Rick Santorum--ABC’s “This Week”: Guests to be announced--CNN’s “Reliable Sources”: Panel: Carl Bernstein, Politico’s Tara Palmeri, Jason Miller and the Chicago Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet … The New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet … The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple and CNN’s Dylan Byers (live from Washington)--Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures”: Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) … Texas Gov. Greg Abbott … IBM CEO Ginni Rometty … Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas). Panel: Maslansky + Partners president Lee Carter and Global Strategy group senior vice president Steve Sigmund--Fox News’ “MediaBuzz”: Sean Spicer … Erin McPike … Mollie Hemingway … Joe Trippi … Liz Claman--CNN’s “Inside Politics” with John King: Panel: Julie Pace, Karen Tumulty, Manu Raju and Maeve Reston--CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS”: Former Obama White House National Security Adviser Susan Rice … Canadian Foreign Affairs minister Chrystia Freeland--Univision’s “Al Punto”: Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.). Panel: Bill Richardson and former Puerto Rican attorney general Jose Fuentes and former Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Otto Reich … Univision news anchor Enrique Acevedo … actor and producer Eugenio Derbez and actress Salma Hayek … human rights activist and Catholic Priest Rev. Alejandro Solalinde … actress Kate Del Castillo--C-SPAN: “The Communicators”: American Enterprise Institute Center for Internet, Communications and Technology Policy director Jeffrey Eisenach and Public Knowledge vice president Chris Lewis … “Newsmakers”: Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), questioned by Politico’s Esther Whieldon and CQ Roll Call’s Bridget Bowman … “Q&A”: Author and law professor Brad Snyder--Washington Times’ “Mack on Politics” weekly politics podcast with Matt Mackowiak (download on iTunes, Google Play, or Stitcher or listen at http://bit.ly/2mGabdq: “Shattered” co-author Jonathan Allen … Daily Beast columnist Matt Lewis.

29 апреля, 14:14

Trump’s First 100 Days, Ranked

The best, the worst and everything in between.

29 апреля, 09:19

U.N. Security Council backs new Western Sahara talks attempt

ALGIERS (Reuters) - The United Nations Security Council has unanimously backed the U.N. chief's attempts to restart negotiations to end the Western Sahara conflict and extended its peacekeeping mission for another year.

29 апреля, 04:24

North Korea defies Trump

Missile test follows saber-rattling but Trump's policy looks like Obama's

29 апреля, 02:58

Trump: North Korea 'disrespected the wishes of China' with missile test

President Donald Trump said North Korea "disrespected" the Chinese government by launching another ballistic missile test Friday."North Korea disrespected the wishes of China & its highly respected President when it launched, though unsuccessfully, a missile today. Bad!" the president said in a tweet. North Korea launched a failed mid-range ballistic missile test, South Korea reported about 5 p.m. ET, which was widely condemned by Seoul and other U.S. allies. Trump was briefed on the launch, according to a statement from the press secretary's office.The president on Thursday warned of a potential "major, major conflict" with North Korea during an interview with Reuters, while stressing that a diplomatic approach would be preferable. During an interview on Fox on Friday, the president again stressed the importance of China's role in resolving the ongoing tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, while cautioning that more severe measures may be required for China to handle North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un's regime. “It may have to be a much more difficult ending, to be honest with you, but [Chine President Xi Jinping is] trying,” he said.

29 апреля, 00:43

Jesus, It's Only Been 100 Days

Like what you read below? Sign up for HUFFPOST HILL and get a cheeky dose of political news every evening! Donald Trump said the presidency has been “more work than in my previous life — I thought it would be easier,” which is a sentiment typically expressed by newly made Mafia capos or teenaged parents. John Kasich said we need to “eradicate” North Korea’s leadership but refused to say anything more on the matter, presumably because he needed to go slather mud on his face, bite a combat knife with his teeth and slowly submerge himself into a lagoon near the DMZ. And Milo Yiannopoulos is starting an “ugly for-profit troll circus,” though considering the New York Times sent out a push notification today advertising an essay by a climate change denier, we’re pretty sure Milo’s late to the party. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Friday, April 28th, 2017: CAN FIRMLY KICKED - Sources close to the road say the can has relocated a modest distance. Matt Fuller: “Still lacking an agreement on an omnibus spending deal to keep the government open, Congress passed a one-week funding measure on Friday so that Republicans and Democrats could continue negotiations…. Republicans were also hoping that passing an omnibus deal this week would allow President Donald Trump to tout the agreement as an accomplishment in his first 100 days, even if there are hardly any wins in the deal for Republicans. The House easily passed the bill by a vote of 382-30, and then the Senate passed it by voice vote later Friday afternoon. Now the stopgap bill moves to Trump’s desk for his signature before midnight to avoid a government shutdown. With the extra time gained and barring any unexpected hiccups, lawmakers sound confident they can come to an agreement next week on legislation that will fund the government until October.” [HuffPost] TRUMP MARKS APPROACHING 100-DAY MARK BY NOT CHANGING A SINGLE THING - Then again, if you’re going to behave in a wildly unpresidential manner, you might as well do so in a room full of overly enthused gun nuts that you voluntarily chose to enter. Amanda Terkel: “President Donald Trump warned attendees at the National Rifle Association’s annual convention on Friday that they probably won’t like the Democrats running for president in 2020. He used a derogatory nickname to specifically call out Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). ‘I have a feeling that in the next election, you’re going to be swamped with candidates, but you’re not going to be wasting your time,’ said Trump, the first sitting president to address the NRA’s convention since Ronald Reagan. ‘You’ll have plenty of those Democrats coming over and you’re going to say, ‘No, sir. No, thank you. No, ma’am.’ Perhaps “ma’am.” It may be Pocahontas, remember that. And she is not big for the NRA, that I can tell you. But you came through for me, and I am going to come through for you.’ The crowd booed when he mentioned Warren.” [HuffPost] Our data team took a look at Trump’s first 100 days. And HuffPost’s J.M. Rieger made a video  of what you see when you close your eyes at night in the Trump era. At least we know Trump is capable of writing down his name. “On Day 89 of his presidency, Donald Trump set down his felt-tipped pen and did what he’s done most and best so far in his new job: held up a piece of paper he had just signed for news cameras to record for posterity. More than four dozen times since taking office, Trump has invited the media he regularly attacks to show off his distinctive cursive on a presidential document ―  a document that, the vast majority of the time, has been completely unnecessary to accomplish the stated goal. Previous presidents have signed executive orders and memoranda. None appeared to be compelled to hold them up and show off their penmanship.” [HuffPost’s S.V. Date] REPUBLICANS TRYING TO KEEP COAL COMPANIES FROM PAYING HEALTH CLAIMS - Hey, it looks like the GOP is finally down with government-sponsored health care! Laura Barrón-López: “Under a new measure being floated in the House, companies like Consol Energy would be able to shift their obligations to cover the health care costs of retired coal miners on to the federal government, which already pays for other retirees’ coverage. The measure, pushed by Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.), could jeopardize efforts to finalize a separate provision that would permanently fund health benefits for retired United Mine Workers. Those benefits, which pertain only to mine workers who worked for now-bankrupt companies, are set to expire in a matter of days. There remains a dispute over how to pay for a permanent fix. But the Murphy text, lawmakers warn, could complicate those already difficult negotiations as Congress tries to keep the government funded this week.” [HuffPost] GORKA ON THE WAY OUT: REPORT - Just some news about that crypto-fascist who, you know, has been employed by the White House. Lachlan Markay and Asawin Suebsaeng: “The Trump administration is actively exploring options to remove controversial national security aide Sebastian Gorka from the White House and place him at another federal agency, multiple sources tell The Daily Beast. Two senior administration officials familiar with the situation say it is exploring a new role for Gorka elsewhere in the administration. Another said he has been entirely excluded from day-to-day policy-making at the National Security Council in the meantime. Gorka’s looming departure from the White House, which one of the sources described as imminent, comes amid mounting controversy over his involvement with a far-right Hungarian group notorious for its collaboration with the Nazi regime during the second world war.” [Daily Beast] Like HuffPost Hill? Then order Eliot’s book, The Beltway Bible: A Totally Serious A-Z Guide To Our No-Good, Corrupt, Incompetent, Terrible, Depressing, and Sometimes Hilarious Government Does somebody keep forwarding you this newsletter? Get your own copy. It’s free! Sign up here. Send tips/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to [email protected] Follow us on Twitter - @HuffPostHill PRESIDENT REALIZES HE’S PRESIDENT - It’s a shame the “*freeze frame*” meme is kind of old now, because this whole article is one big version of it. Stephen J. Adler, Jeff Mason and Steve Holland: “President Donald Trump on Thursday reflected on his first 100 days in office with a wistful look at his life before the White House. ‘I loved my previous life. I had so many things going,’ Trump told Reuters in an interview. ‘This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier.’ … More than five months after his victory and two days shy of the 100-day mark of his presidency, the election is still on Trump’s mind. Midway through a discussion about Chinese President Xi Jinping, the president paused to hand out copies of what he said were the latest figures from the 2016 electoral map. ‘Here, you can take that, that’s the final map of the numbers,’ the Republican president said from his desk in the Oval Office, handing out maps of the United States with areas he won marked in red. ‘It’s pretty good, right? The red is obviously us.’” [Reuters] LEWANDOWSKI GRABBING WASHINGTON FIRMLY BY THE ARM - Kenneth Vogel and Josh Dawsey: “A firm co-founded by Donald Trump’s original campaign manager Corey Lewandowski appears to have been pitching clients around the world by offering not only policy and political advice, but also face time with President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and senior members of their administration, according to documents and interviews. A document provided to an Eastern European politician by an international consulting firm that Lewandowski co-founded this year promises to arrange ‘meetings with well-established figures,’ including Trump, Pence, ‘key members of the U.S. Administration’ and outside Trump allies.”  [Politico] BIPARTISAN GROUP WANTS TO TALK ABOUT WASHINGTON’S BEST ACRONYM: AUMF -  Jennifer Bendery: “A bipartisan group of 46 lawmakers wrote to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Friday, urging him to schedule a debate on Congress’ role in authorizing wars ― and on the need for President Donald Trump to get their approval before he takes any further military action overseas. ‘It’s long past time for Congress to take responsibility for the war against ISIS by finally holding a debate and vote on whether to authorize any future military action,’ said Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), a leading voice on the issue who signed Friday’s letter. ‘With his recent military strike against Syria, we are also declaring that President Trump must not undertake any new military operations without the approval of Congress,’ he said…. Today...Trump can use a 16-year-old war authorization to unilaterally take military action in Syria or anywhere else in the Middle East, if he can make the case that Islamic State or al Qaeda targets are there.” [HuffPost] MEMBER OF CONGRESS DELIVERS 2017’S MOST INTENSE ‘NO HOMO’ - President Trump has had the effect of making us forget just how truly insane members of Congress can be. Curtis M. Wong: “A Texas congressman choked back tears at an event in Washington, D.C. this week as he begged God to forgive the U.S. for legalizing same-sex marriage. Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX) was one of 20 different members of Congress who spoke at the sixth annual ‘Washington ― A Man of Prayer’ event, held at the U.S. Capitol’s Statuary Hall, on Wednesday night. He opened his remarks with a politically charged slant on the Lord’s Prayer, before pleading with God to forgive the country for the ‘sins’ of marriage equality and abortion, Right Wing Watch reports.” [HuffPost] YIKES, JOHN KASICH - Philip Rucker: “In a discussion with reporters in Washington, Kasich evaluated the escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula and suggested that Trump devise a plan to swiftly eliminate North Korea’s leadership. ‘How do you deal with this? I think there might be a way, and that has to do with taking out the North Korean leadership,’ ‘Kasich said. He added, ‘I believe the best way to solve this problem is to eradicate the leadership. I’m talking about those who are closest to making the decisions that North Korea’s following now.’ Kasich stopped short of explicitly recommending that U.S. forces assassinate North Korea’s leaders, but what he described would be a military and intelligence exercise.” [WaPo] DEMINT DEFIRED - Okay, not yet, but still. Nancy Cook, Kenneth P. Vogel and Eliana Johnson: “The controversial president of The Heritage Foundation, former Sen. Jim DeMint, may soon be out of a job, following a dispute with board members about the direction of conservative think tank, according to three people with knowledge of the situation.” [Politico] THE NEW HAMPSHIRE LEGISLATURE IS THE REDDIT OF LEGISLATURES - This is almost too on the nose. Bonnie Bacarisse: “Last November, voters in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region re-elected to the state house of representatives a man who appears to be one of the secret architects of the internet’s misogynistic ‘Manosphere.’ The homegrown son of a preacher, 31-year-old Robert Fisher is a Republican who represents New Hampshire’s Belknap County District 9…. An investigation into Fisher’s online aliases found a trail of posts linking the lawmaker to the username Pk_atheist, the creator of The Red Pill — an online Reddit community of nearly 200,000 subscribers that promotes itself as a ‘discussion of sexual strategy in a culture increasingly lacking a positive identity for men.’” [Daily Beast] BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR - Here are a bunch of kittens. MILO TO START FOR-PROFIT TROLL ENTERPRISE, THOUGH WE’RE PRETTY SURE THAT’S JUICERO - America’s foremost Alt-Right troll has a new business. Tina Nguyen: “Milo Inc., according to a press release, will be based in Miami, with a planned staff of 30. It will be in the business of what can be best described as corporatized trolling via live entertainment, with Yiannopoulos and his investors hosting events featuring right-wing talent. ‘The business of Madonna became touring,’ said Yiannopoulos in a phone interview, citing the artist’s deal with Live Nation. ‘I’m doing the same thing, but instead of signing up with Live Nation, I’m building one. I’m building it for libertarian and conservative comedians, writers, stand-up comics, intellectuals, you name it.’” [Vanity Fair] COMFORT FOOD - America’s 50 best independent bookstores. - What it’s like to be the last player chosen in the NFL draft. - Wow, this guy really wants to sell his ‘96 Suzuki Vitara. TWITTERAMA 1. B...oyz II Men2. E...nya 3. N...irvana4. G...reen Day5. H...oobastank6. A...erosmith7. Z...Z Too8. I...ncubus9.10. Never again— Laura Bassett (@LEBassett) April 28, 2017 Legitimately don't understand people who are upset the Times hired another op-ed person to ignore but not when they put peas in guacamole.— Aaron Mehta (@AaronMehta) April 28, 2017 I'm just sitting here on the beach with my flawless body. But my spiritual sufferings are enormous— KimKierkegaardashian (@KimKierkegaard) April 28, 2017 Got something to add? Send tips/quotes/stories/photos/events/fundraisers/job movement/juicy miscellanea to Eliot Nelson ([email protected]) -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

28 апреля, 21:14

The Many North Korea Policies of the Trump Administration

Is the U.S. ready for war? Does it want talks? Officials are sending mixed messages.

28 апреля, 21:03

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson: “Business as Usual” with North Korea “Is Not an Option”

Ryan Pickrell Security, Asia Tillerson also encouraged countries to suspend the flow of North Korean guest workers, as well as North Korean imports. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said “business as usual” with North Korea “is not an option” Thursday, at a special session of the United Nations Security Council. “It is time for us to retake control of the situation” on the Korean Peninsula,” Tillerson said, while chairing the session. “I urge this council to act before North Korea does.” “With each successive detonation and missile test North Korea pushes northeast Asia and the world closer to instability and broader conflict,” he told the council. “The threat of a North Korean attack on Seoul or Tokyo is real.” Since the start of 2016, North Korea has conducted two nuclear tests and carried out over two dozen ballistic missile provocations. The North has tested short-range, medium-range and intermediate-range missiles, and it is clear that North Korea is developing an intercontinental ballistic missile. (This first appeared on The Daily Caller News Foundation’s site here.) Tillerson called on the members of the UNSC to take three actions to rein in North Korea. First, all countries should “fully implement the commitments they have made regarding North Korea,” he said. These include UNSC resolutions 2270 and 2231, which were passed after the North’s fourth and fifth nuclear tests. “Those nations which have not fully enforced these resolutions fully discredit this body,” he warned. Second, he said all member states should “suspend or downgrade their diplomatic relations with North Korea.” Tillerson made it clear “normal diplomatic relations with [North Korea] are unacceptable.” Third, he said all countries should take steps “to increase North Korea’s financial isolation” through new and tougher sanctions. “We will not hesitate to sanction third country entities and individuals” that aid the North’s illegal activities, he said. Tillerson also encouraged countries to suspend the flow of North Korean guest workers, as well as North Korean imports. The aim is to put maximum pressure on the brutal North Korea. The U.S. is not calling for regime change. The focus is specifically on de-nuclearization. Read full article

28 апреля, 18:55

U.S. Push for Tougher North Korea Policy Faces Resistance

The Trump administration tried to unify world leaders behind a tougher approach toward North Korea, but risked finding itself more isolated amid stiff resistance from China and Russia. North Korea itself punctuated the debate later in the day by firing a ballistic missile.

28 апреля, 18:47

Tillerson tells world: Normal ties with North Korea are 'simply not acceptable'

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Friday laid out the U.S. argument for a more proactive approach to North Korea, telling the United Nations Security Council that “well-intentioned diplomatic efforts to halt” the repressive regime’s nuclear program “have failed.”"For too long, the international community has been reactive in addressing North Korea. Those days must come to an end. Failing to act now on the most pressing security issue in the world may bring catastrophic consequences,” Tillerson said. “Additional patience will only mean acceptance of a nuclear North Korea. The more we bide our time, the sooner we will run out of it.”North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un has stepped up his regime’s typical regimen of saber-rattling in recent weeks, attempting multiple missile tests and engaging in preparations consistent with a sixth nuclear test to go along with its typical bellicose rhetoric.The uptick in activity is not out of line with past precedent for North Korea, which often marks the April birthday of its founder Kim Il Sung with shows of military strength, but it has prompted a more aggressive response from the administration of President Donald Trump than those from past U.S. administrations.Speaking to the Security Council, Tillerson called on all nations to fully enforce past sanctions resolutions leveled against North Korea and on the U.N. to further financially isolate the Kim regime with further sanctions.Notably, Tillerson also called on all nations to downgrade their diplomatic relations with North Korea, which he said “exploits its diplomatic privileges to fund its illicit nuclear missile technology programs.”“In light of North Korea's recent actions, normal relations with the DPRK are simply not acceptable,” Tillerson said, referring to North Korea by the abbreviation of its official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.With the aim of further isolating the already deeply-sanctioned state, Tillerson announced to the Security Council that the U.S. “will not hesitate to sanction third-country entities and individuals supporting the DPRK’s illegal activities.” He specifically noted that China, North Korea’s chief international protector and only significant trading partner, “alone has economic leverage over Pyongyang that is unique, and its role is, therefore, particularly important.”Matching Trump, who has pointedly refused to take military options off the table on a range of international issues, Tillerson said renewed economic and diplomatic efforts to rein in the Kim regime will be “backed up by willingness to counteract North Korean aggression with military action, if necessary.” The secretary of state also tied North Korea’s nuclear program to human rights violations that have been well-documented by those who have left the repressive state, characterizing the need for an international solution to the Kim regime’s nuclear ambitions as having a “moral dimension.”“Countries must know by now that helping the north Korean regime means enabling cruelty and suffering. North Korea feeds billions of dollars into a nuclear program it does not need while its own people starve,” Tillerson said. “The regime's pursuit of nuclear weapons does not serve its own national security or the well-being of a people trapped in tyranny.”

28 апреля, 18:22

Tillerson Keeping ‘All Options’ Open if Diplomacy With North Korea Fails

Speaking at the United Nations Security Council, Mr. Tillerson called for stiffer international sanctions against Pyongyang.

28 апреля, 14:17

Friday's Morning Email: Trump: 'I Thought It Would Be Easier'

TOP STORIES (And want to get The Morning Email each weekday? Sign up here.) DONALD TRUMP IN INTERVIEW WITH REUTERS: ‘I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE EASIER’ “I loved my previous life. I had so many things going.” GOP DOESN’T HAVE THE HEALTHCARE VOTES To take a vote on the health law repeal. And take a look at the HuffPost whip count of where members stand. [NYT] TRUMP: ‘MAJOR, MAJOR’ CONFLICT WITH NORTH KOREA POSSIBLE But the president said in an interview with Reuters that hehoped there was a diplomatic answer. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Thursday that the administration would negotiate directly with North Korea over ending its nuclear program. SEAN SPICER: THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION RENEWED MICHAEL FLYNN’S CLEARANCE Yes, forget the part about making him head of the National Security Council. The Pentagon has opened an investigation into Flynn’s failure to disclose payments from foreign governments.  ARKANSAS EXECUTED FOURTH INMATE IN A WEEK The other four inmates who were set for lethal injection have received stays of execution. ‘THE ART OF THE RETREAT’ “Trump went from accusing the Chinese of manipulating their currency to agreeing that they didn’t. He has not made any visible progress in forcing Mexico to pay for a border wall. He was talked out of abandoning the North American Free Trade Agreement by the leaders of Mexico and Canada. And he was unable to bully Democrats into working with him to repeal the Affordable Care Act.” JESSE WATTERS TAKES VACATION AFTER IVANKA TRUMP COMMENT A week into being promoted to head host of “The Five,” Watters made what appeared to be a lewd joke about Ivanka Trump. Hetook a vacation following the firestorm, in the latest wave of bad press for Fox News. UNITED SETTLES WITH PASSENGER DRAGGED OFF PLANE For an undisclosed amount. And here’s why airlines will still keep overbooking despite the infamous incident. WHAT’S BREWING HAVE AN AMAZON ECHO? You can now ask Alexa to listen to The Morning Email! Start your day with a quick update on the latest news by enabling our skill here. MICHELLE OBAMA ON WHETHER SHE’D EVER RUN FOR OFFICE “I wouldn’t ask my children to do this again.” ‘THE WOMAN WHO TOOK BILL O’REILLY DOWN’ “He was the most popular figure on the country’s highest-rated television network. But he was no match for New York Times reporter Emily Steel.” [Marie Claire] START BUILDING YOUR RAFTS NOW California sea levels could rise 10 feet by the end of this century. ‘ELISABETH MOSS IS THE QUEEN OF PEAK TV’ “How ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ star built the most enviable résumé in television and discovered her personal feminism along the way.” [Vulture] AN ORAL HISTORY OF ‘ROMY AND MICHELE’S HIGH SCHOOL REUNION’ Which just turned 20. BEFORE YOU GO The star of Disney’s “Miracle” was found dead in his car at the age of 35. Take a quiz on how Trump’s tax plan would affect you. Authorities are investigating why 41 Humpback whales have washed up dead on the Atlantic coast since the beginning of 2016. Robert De Niro has taken over Snapchat. Prepare yourselves. Christina and Tarek El Moussa have spoken out about what their divorce means for the next season of “Flip or Flop.” There will now be a college course teaching the Dorthraki language in “Game of Thrones.” Elizabeth Warren said she was “troubled” by President Barack Obama’s high speaking fee for Wall Street. A “Napercise” class, which is 45 minutes of shuteye, is a real thing. This is a workout we can get behind. Scarlett Johansson and Tilda Swinton are in the middle of a whitewashing controversy... again. “Does Netflix need movie theaters?” This Maid of Honor set a new standard with this toast based on “Slim Shady.” That time Johnny Depp crashed a Disneyland “Pirates of the Caribbean” ride. Have you paid attention to the news this past week? Test your knowledge with the HuffPost Headlines Quiz. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

28 апреля, 13:58

How North Korea gets its oil from China: lifeline in question at U.N. meeting

BEIJING (Reuters) - As the United Nations Security Council decides whether to tighten the sanctions screws on North Korea, the country's increasingly isolated government could lose a lifeline provided by state-owned China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC).

28 апреля, 09:21

U.S. says failure to act on North Korea could be catastrophic

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned on Friday that failure to curb North Korea's nuclear and missile abilities could lead to 'catastrophic consequences,' while China and Russia cautioned Washington against threatening military force to solve the problem.

28 апреля, 04:22

Trump Says 'Major, Major' Conflict With North Korea Possible, But Seeks Diplomacy

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday a major conflict with North Korea is possible in the standoff over its nuclear and missile programs, but he would prefer a diplomatic outcome to the dispute. “There is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea. Absolutely,” Trump told Reuters in an Oval Office interview ahead of his 100th day in office on Saturday. Nonetheless, Trump said he wanted to peacefully resolve a crisis that has bedeviled multiple U.S. presidents, a path that he and his administration are emphasizing by preparing a variety of new economic sanctions while not taking the military option off the table. “We’d love to solve things diplomatically but it’s very difficult,” he said. Trump lavished praise on Chinese President Xi Jinping for Chinese assistance in trying to rein in North Korea. The two leaders met in Florida earlier this month. “I believe he is trying very hard. He certainly doesn’t want to see turmoil and death. He doesn’t want to see it. He is a good man. He is a very good man and I got to know him very well. “With that being said, he loves China and he loves the people of China. I know he would like to be able to do something, perhaps it’s possible that he can’t,” Trump said. Trump spoke just a day after he and his top national security advisers briefed U.S. lawmakers on the North Korean threat and one day before Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will press the United Nations Security Council on sanctions to further isolate Pyongyang over its nuclear and missile programs. The Trump administration on Wednesday declared North Korea “an urgent national security threat and top foreign policy priority.” It said it was focusing on economic and diplomatic pressure, including Chinese cooperation in containing its defiant neighbor and ally, and remained open to negotiations. U.S. officials said military strikes remained an option but played down the prospect, though the administration has sent an aircraft carrier and a nuclear-powered submarine to the region in a show of force. Any direct U.S. military action would run the risk of massive North Korean retaliation and huge casualties in Japan and South Korea and among U.S. forces in both countries. Trump, asked if he considered North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to be rational, said he was operating from the assumption that he is rational. He noted that Kim had taken over his country at an early age. “He’s 27 years old. His father dies, took over a regime. So say what you want but that is not easy, especially at that age. “I’m not giving him credit or not giving him credit, I’m just saying that’s a very hard thing to do. As to whether or not he’s rational, I have no opinion on it. I hope he’s rational,” he said. Trump, sipping a Coke delivered by an aide after the president ordered it by pressing a button on his desk, appeared to rebuff an overture from Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, who told Reuters a direct phone call with Trump could take place again after their first conversation in early December angered Beijing. China considers neighboring Taiwan to be a renegade province. “My problem is that I have established a very good personal relationship with President Xi,” said Trump. “I really feel that he is doing everything in his power to help us with a big situation. So I wouldn’t want to be causing difficulty right now for him.” “So I would certainly want to speak to him first.” -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

28 апреля, 00:11

White House Blames Obama For Michael Flynn's Security Clearance

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); Never mind the fact that President Donald Trump made him the head of the National Security Council. If Michael Flynn wasn’t properly vetted and was potentially unfit to even have security clearance, as may be the case, that’s on the Obama administration. At least, that’s according to White House spokesman Sean Spicer, who blamed Barack Obama’s White House on Thursday for signing off on Flynn’s security clearance. “[General Flynn’s] clearance was last reissued by the Obama administration in 2016 with full knowledge of his activities that occurred in 2015,” Spicer said during Thursday’s press briefing, responding to a question about Flynn possibly breaking federal law by accepting foreign funds for a trip to Russia in 2015. “All of that clearance was made during the Obama administration and apparently with knowledge of the trip that he took,” he continued, “so that’s how the process works, and I welcome the Department of Defense’s [Office of Inspector General] review.” -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

27 апреля, 23:05

Daily Press Briefing by Press Secretary Sean Spicer -- #42

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room  1:30 P.M. EDT MR. SPICER:  Good afternoon.  It's a little bit of different room than this morning.  I'm sure you all know that I was up here earlier this morning, off camera, with some of your kids.  It was a pleasure to be able to share a little bit of the White House experience with them, and I hope they enjoyed it.  I think some of you have trained them very well.  I hope they enjoyed their visit, and I'm glad they got an opportunity to visit with the President and the Vice President today.   We have a bunch to talk about today about what the President has been doing, and he's got an executive order coming up, so I'm going to try to get through it all. This morning, the President welcomed the President and Mrs. Macri of Argentina for an official visit.  As you know, the President and First Lady of Argentina just left, so we will have a readout for you very shortly on that.  At 2:00 p.m., the President will be signing a memorandum on aluminum imports and threats to national security, so we'll try to keep this briefing on time. I know Secretary Ross spoke about the memo that the President signed yesterday, but I want to reiterate that the American aluminum industry is in trouble, having declined down to the lowest levels of aluminum that we've produced since 1952.  It is critical for our national defenses -- the Army ground vehicles and the Air Force jets, the Navy warships.  But American companies are producing less aluminum than before, especially in the high-purity aluminum that's used to build things like the F-35, the F-18, and the C-17s. The Secretary of Commerce has initiated an investigation to determine what effect our reliance on imported aluminum has on both national and economic security.  The memo the President will sign today, similar to the memo he signed on steel, elevates this investigation and directs the Secretary to prioritize its completion.  This memo, combined with similar action on steel, is an important step towards fulfilling the President's promise to "put American steel and aluminum back into the backbone of our country." The President has been speaking about revitalizing the American manufacturing industry for quite a long time.  Another one of the President's most significant pledges has been to ensure that the men and women who have served this nation in our military have the care, treatment, and support they so greatly deserve.  So, later this afternoon, the President will go to the Department of Veterans Affairs, where he will sign an executive order that will take serious action to fix the broken VA system through the establishment of the new VA Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection, which will remove and discipline federal employees and managers who have violated the public's trust, while protecting employees that speak out about wrongdoing. The President will be joined at the VA by several veterans and their spouses who have experienced or witnessed firsthand the poor quality of treatment that, unfortunately, too many of these heroes have received at VA facilities -- including Sergeant Michael Verardo, who lost his leg and arm when he stepped on an IED in Afghanistan in 2010, and his devoted wife and caregiver, Sarah.  The President is making it clear that the delays and improper care experienced by these veterans is unacceptable.  The President's action today comes on top of the signing of the Veterans Choice Improvement Act last week, which gives more veterans the option of seeing the doctor of their choice without traveling long distance or waiting for VA care.  These actions, which are only the beginning of his plans to modernize the VA, the President is making it clear that the Trump administration will not accept anything but the best for those who have served our nation. Today, as with every day this week, as we approach the 100th day in office for this President, he is continuing to follow through on some of the biggest promises that he made to the American people.  On Monday, he hosted a working lunch with members of the United Nations Security Council, reiterating his dedication to making America a leader in the world.  On Tuesday, he prioritized the protection of the farmers and ranchers of America's heartland by establishing the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity.  Today, he took several important steps to review massive federal land grab by the previous administration under the Antiquities Act, an egregious federal overreach.  That was yesterday, actually.  And today, as I mentioned, he's taking action on trade and veterans. As we speak of trade, I know last night you saw a readout of the President's call with President Peña Nieto and Prime Minister Trudeau.  As the President just said, the President and the Prime Minister called him and asked him to renegotiate NAFTA rather than terminate it.  The President has a great deal of respect for these two countries and their leaders, and he said that he would hold on the termination while we negotiate a better and fairer deal for America and its workers.  But the President also made it clear that if the parties are unable to agree on a deal that is fair for American workers and companies, after renegotiation -- giving renegotiation a good shot, he will move forward with termination. And with that, I'll take some questions. Q    Sean, what changes in NAFTA does the President hope to achieve through renegotiation? MR. SPICER:  I think when you look at the various sectors -- it's obviously being a multilateral agreement -- there are areas in Canada, sectors where there's agriculture, manufacturing, services -- that we look on both of them, where I think there's both a modernization, recognizing the world has changed, and also some trade imbalances and issues that have come up, and also, frankly, some areas that fall outside the scope of NAFTA as it was negotiated at the beginning that I think we want to look at it.   Obviously, the issue of dairy came up.  So that's an area that we want to look at, as well.  And so part of this is to look at not just the existing agreement, but areas and sectors and industries that have fallen outside, or because over the last couple decades have not kept up with the promises and the commitments that were made.  But that's -- we've got a ways to go. Matt. Q    Thanks, Sean.  As you know, under both the Reagan and Bush administrations, concerns about tax cuts-fueled deficits were dismissed with promises of growth, and we're hearing that same sort of rhetoric now.  The deficit increased a great deal under both those administrations after the tax cuts.  What’s different about the President’s plan that won't lead to the same sort of ballooning of the deficit? MR. SPICER:  There’s a few things.  Number one, we outlined those principles yesterday.  We've got a lot of work to do with Congress, and I think it's moving in a very positive direction.  There’s a lot of pay-fors, as they call them, in this proposal that will continue to be refined as we move forward in negotiating with Congress.  So there’s a lot of things. But I think the President laid out a plan that achieves -- or seeks to achieve three basic things.  One is economic growth and job creation.  Two is a simplification so that the American people can actually file their taxes in a rather normal process that doesn’t require a ton of money and time.  And three is to do stuff that makes -- create a better business climate that makes sure that manufacturing and job creation, people want to hire here and that we help the middle class.  Those are the three guiding principles that the President has. As we do that, one of the things that you recognize through a lot of the models here is you're going to achieve greater economic growth.  It's something that we saw both following the tax cuts in the Kennedy administration and the Reagan administration.  I think that we can achieve greater growth, economic prosperity and job creation under the plan that the President laid out. John. Q    Thanks a lot, Sean.  You may have seen the news about the Office of the Inspector General announcing that it's launched an investigation into the payment that the former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn received prior to becoming the National Security Advisor from RT -- Russia Today -- which is an entity of the Russian government.  What’s your reaction to that, first of all? MR. SPICER:  I think that's appropriate.  If they think that there’s wrongdoing then the department’s Inspector General should look into that. Q    Are you satisfied with the vetting that was done of General Flynn by the transition team before he came on board as the National Security Advisor? MR. SPICER:  So that's a great question.  I appreciate you bringing it up.  Let’s walk through that for a second.  General Flynn was a career military officer who maintained a high-level security clearance throughout his career in the military.  His clearance was last reissued by the Obama administration in 2016 with full knowledge of his activities that occurred in 2015, as you point out.  So the issue is -- he was issued a security clearance under the Obama administration in the spring of 2016.  The trip and transactions that you're referring to occurred in December of 2015, from what I understand.   So obviously there’s an issue that, as you point out, the Department of Defense Inspector General is looking into.  We welcome that.  But all of that clearance was made by the -- during the Obama administration and, apparently, with knowledge of the trip that he took.  So that's how the process works.  And I welcome the Department of Defense’s IG’s review. Jordan. Q    If he wasn’t fired by the President for lying to the Vice President, would he still have a job today, right here at the White House? MR. SPICER:  I will just say that I think the President made the right call at the right time, and it's clearly paid off. Jordan. Q    Given the progress that congressional Republicans have made on the healthcare talks, does the President want a vote on that bill this week? MR. SPICER:  He wants a vote when they have 216 votes.  And I feel very good about the progress that's being made to get to that number.  And I think Speaker Ryan’s comments this morning indicate that it's moving in the right direction, and that should be good news for everyone in America as we move towards a system that creates a healthcare system that serves us, and that makes sure that premiums don't skyrocket like they are now, and that we're able to see the doctors that we want to see and have plans that have competition in them. Eamon. Q    If there’s no vote, does that mean the President won't be disappointed? MR. SPICER:  I think the President wants a vote and wants a healthcare system as soon as possible.  But that's going to be dictated by the Speaker and the Majority Leader and the Majority Whip in the House when they feel they have the votes.  That being said, as we've now maintained for the last several days, we feel very positive about the work that's being done to get to that and the reaction that we're having.  As you recall, there was a lot of members that initially had some problems, and we're very pleased with the reaction -- the public reaction that they are having to what is currently been negotiated.  And I think it's only getting bigger, and that's welcome news. Eamon. Q    Thanks, Sean.  The President’s tax plan, we're getting a little bit of mixed signals here on exactly what his vision is in terms of retirement savings.  Can you lay out what the President’s vision is for 401{k}s, and particularly tax deductions surrounding those?  Does the President imagine removing those deductions entirely along with the other deductions, or is he going to protect those?  MR. SPICER:  So the Secretary of the Treasury and Director Cohn yesterday both talked about that the current plan right now both protects charitable giving and mortgage interest, and that's it.  As we move forward with negotiations in the House and Senate, that plan will continue to flesh out.   But one of the benefits of the tax plan on the individual side, in particular, is by expanding the standard deduction to $24,000 for a married couple.  The really effectively creates a bracket of zero taxes for many, many Americans.  And that's good news.  We're going to see more and more Americans get some relief that they so desperately need. Q    These tax deductions, though, of course, comes with its own group, its own lobby, its own interest group.  MR. SPICER:  Yes. Q    They fight very hard for these things.  Are you guys prepared for a battle on all those tax deductions, eliminating all of those?  I mean, politically, that's a big lift. MR. SPICER:  Well, I think the one interest that the President is going to fight for are the American people and the American worker.  That's what he made his entire campaign about, is putting America first, and he’s going to fight hard.  His special interest is the American people, and making sure that whether it’s putting more money in their pocket, or making sure that they economic growth leads to more jobs and greater manufacturing, that's the one interest that he’s fighting for every day. So we’ll do battle with whoever we have to, to achieve a greater outcome for Americans and American workers.  Zeke. Q    Just one more.  Gary Cohn told us the retirement savings was protected.   Q    Two on General Flynn.  First, you said the Obama administration had reissued his clearance last year? MR. SPICER:  Yes. Q    So is the implication there that should be taken that if the Trump administration was the one adjudicating his clearance, this year he would not have been issued that clearance, now that the White House knows everything that there is about General Flynn? MR. SPICER:  No, I think I’m just making sure people understand the process and how it works.  And the way a process works is that if you have a top security clearance, you fill out a form.  There’s an investigation done.  You are reinvestigated every five years if you are able to maintain that clearance.  And then whoever owns that clearance, whether it’s the FBI or the Department of Defense, goes out, does the investigation.  In between that period, you're responsible for updating the information that you provided in accordance with the agency that issued that. My only point is, is that when General Flynn came into the White House, he had an active security clearance that was issued during the Obama administration with all of the information that's being discussed that occurred in 2015.  So I’m just -- I guess my only point is to explain how the process works and who adjudicated that. Q    You're not implying wrongdoing in the part of --  MR. SPICER:  No, that's why the Department of Defense Inspector General is looking into this to see how that process works.  But I think it’s important for folks to understand that when someone applies for a clearance, they get that clearance; it’s issued at the top security clearance level for five years; and that the person who has been issued it then has a legal obligation to update the issuing agency any variances in what they supplied as information.  Q    Finally, when you were here on February 14th, the morning after General Flynn was fired by the President, you said that the President asked him to leave the White House -- the situation regarding the phone call with the Russian ambassador and the Vice President. MR. SPICER:  Right.  Q    But also “a series of other questionable instances.”  I was hoping now you can provide some more information now that more -- some of his financial dealings, in particular, now have come to light.  Is that what led to his termination at the White House? MR. SPICER:  Look, I think we addressed it at the time, and I think as -- Q    Not this -- MR. SPICER:  No, no, but -- that's right.  And I don't -- I think the President made the right decision at the right time, and he continues to stand by it. Major.   Q    To follow on a couple of things that have been brought up to you today.  John’s question -- not the process, but your own vet, meaning the transition -- are you satisfied that that met the standard that should have been met with Michael Flynn?  And then if there are any regrets that this White House has about bringing him in, knowing what you know about him now and seeing a behavior that would be plainly inconsistent with the standard that candidate Trump set during the campaign?  MR. SPICER:  Well, with respect, you're saying “our process.”  The process is every government employee who is eligible for a clearance goes through the same process.  So it’s not -- we don't have a unique process. Q    But that's not the only question you asked Michael Flynn -- it couldn’t possibly be the only you asked him. MR. SPICER:  When someone comes in, the question is do they have a clearance.  If not, they apply for one.  And if they have one, then the clearance is made available from the issuing agency.  That's -- you can't -- the whole reason you have a clearance is so that someone is found whether or not they're --  Q    As you just said to Zeke, it was not just the episode with the Russian ambassador, it was other instances.  Those things have come to light.  Any regret about bringing him in --  MR. SPICER:  Look, I’ll just say the President -- Q    -- to have this done and knowing what you know now did you miss something and you regret Michael Flynn in? MR. SPICER:  I think the President made the right decision at the right time, and it’s been pretty clear that -- Q    He regrets bringing him in? MR. SPICER:  No, I’m just saying he made the right decision. And I think we've moved forward from that decision, and the decision stands. Q    On the question about -- Gary Cohn and the Treasury Secretary left us with the implication yesterday when asked about retirement savings that they were protected.  What you just said has indicated they might not be.  Can you help us understand? MR. SPICER:  I can't.  Let me get back to you on that.  I was not clear on that distinction.  I will have the Treasury folks read that out for you. Q    So General Flynn came in with just the Obama administration vetting, is that right, Sean? MR. SPICER:  That's how everyone -- okay -- Q    Because that's the impression you're giving. MR. SPICER:  It is. Q    General Flynn came in and he walked through the door with just the clearance that was conducted by the Obama administration?  That doesn't make any sense. MR. SPICER:  Sure it does.  The same way that when you applied for a credential to the White House Press Briefing Room, when you were here -- Q    I'm not the National Security Advisor.  MR. SPICER:  Hold on.  Just let -- hold on.  Let me explain the answer to you, Jim.  Calm down.  The kids have gone -- Q    That's a serious question. MR. SPICER:  And I’m trying to answer it, Major.  This is the answer.  When you apply -- hold on, listen -- when you applied to come here to this briefing room as a member of the press, you apply and you fill out certain forms with the Secret Service to have your background run.  When I came in here in January 20th, the people that had been cleared the day before were cleared on the 20th and 21st, et cetera.  We didn’t rerun your background.  We trust that when you were cleared the first time, if you were cleared on December 15th or January 20th, that you were still -- that your background check still cleared.   Every individual who came into this White House either applied for a security clearance or had one.  Everyone in the government goes through the same SF-86 process -- every single person.  And so why would you re-run a background check on someone who was the head of the department -- the Defense Intelligence Agency that had and did maintain a high-level security clearance?  That's it.   There's no difference between administrations -- when you come in from one, they rerun it.  The reason they grant them for five years is that it's a very extensive background where they check your contacts, your places of residence, your employment.  They go out into the field, they do a lot of that work, and then you're required to maintain updates to that clearance.  They re-adjudicate it every five years.  That occurred in this case.  And now the Department of Defense's Inspector General is looking into it.  That's how -- Q    And when Congressman Cummings accuses this White House of a cover-up, you say what? MR. SPICER:  I say that's -- I was, frankly, taken back by his comments todays because they're, frankly, not true.  The Department of Defense was the issuing agency for General Flynn's SF-86.  We referred them to the Department of Defense, who owns and issued his security clearance, and they got a copy of it.  That's how the system works.  The documents that he requested he received.   So with all due respect, he got the documents that he requested.  Our job -- they sent a form letter to multiple agencies asking for a copy of this.  What we did was properly refer him to the issuing agency and department, and said, this is where you got.  And he got it. Q    Are there no other documents that you have at this point that could be turned over to this committee that would be relevant to this investigation? MR. SPICER:  Not that I'm aware of at this point.  What they sent to us -- they asked for the SF-86.  That, we referred them to the Department of Defense -- that's great.  Two, is they asked for a contract -- all copies of his speaking engagements from the Speakers Bureau.  I believe he was referred to the Speakers Bureau for those contracts.  And three is they asked for all foreign contacts that he may or may not have had.   Since the incident occurred that they're questioning before his employment to the White House, I think we've complied with every document that they've looked for. Kaitlan. Q    Thank you.  Two questions.  One, does the President still feel that Mike Flynn should seek immunity? MR. SPICER:  I think Mike Flynn should do what his counsel advises him best to do. Q    But does the President? MR. SPICER:  I don’t -- I have not asked him.  But I believe that General Flynn should do what his counsel advises him to do. Q    And secondly, the President said he wants to start renegotiating NAFTA as soon as today.  Has he notified Congress about that yet? MR. SPICER:  We've been in communication with Congress for a while on this.  Yes, Adam. Q    The President tweeted this morning about Puerto Rico -- begin to default on their debt May 1st, pending some kind of solution.  There are millions of investors in the United States  -- senior citizens -- who may not be aware that they hold funds within munibond mutual funds that expose them to a default in Puerto Rico.  Is there anything the White House should do or the administration can do, one, to safeguard those senior citizens and their investments; and two, to prevent an increase in cost to states and municipalities that may have to pay more to borrow when they access the munibond market if Puerto Rico defaults? MR. SPICER:  I think the issue itself is extremely complicated in the sense that the President's tweet and the President's discussion revolves around the continuing resolution to fund our government.  Our government needs to get -- there needs to be a continuing resolution effective this Friday.  The President has done everything possible, worked extremely hard to with Congress to ensure that we maintain the government -- keep the government open.   The Democrats at the last minute have come in and thrown a lot of monkey wrenches into the ability for this to get done, despite the President doing everything that he can to show good faith to keep this going.  So it's not just a question of -- they keep moving the goal post.  And the issue right now is to make sure that we do what's in the best interest of this country and our people by keeping the government open.  That's the issue at hand right now; not a question of whether or not that can be dealt with.  There are ways that that issue can be dealt with.  But throwing it in in the last minute, and trying to gum up keeping the government open is probably not the most effective way. Q    I understand that the CR is different.  But if Puerto Rico defaults with or without the CR -- is the administration working with Puerto Rico? MR. SPICER:  Again -- and I think that that is a separate issue that needs to be addressed by Congress in terms of how it gets done.  I think that the method right now is to make sure that we do everything in our power to keep the government open effective Friday. George. Q    As the tax plan evolves and we start to get details, do you believe it is a fair question for anyone to ask how that plan personally affects the President and his family? MR. SPICER:  I think the President's plan right now is something that every American should worry, hopefully, about how it affects them.  And I think when you look at the ways that this is going to benefit middle-class Americans, middle-income, working Americans grow businesses, that should be -- and I think, frankly, that is the concern of most Americans out there.  They're worried about their job.  They're worried about whether their company is growing and expanding.  They're worried about whether or not they're saving enough money and how much they're paying in taxes.  And I think what the President's number-one goal right now is, is to provide middle-income and lower-income tax relief to Americans.  And that's what his goal is, and I think that's, frankly, what most Americans' goal is. Q    But is it a fair question to ask? MR. SPICER:  That's up to every individual to ask.  But I would guess that most Americans would applaud what the President is doing to spur economic growth and job creation in this country. Cecilia. Q    -- if middle-income Americans should feel empowered to ask how this plan affects them, why is it that Secretary Mnuchin today could not guarantee that no one in the middle class would pay more under this proposal? MR. SPICER:  I think everyone in the middle class should know that this President's plan is going to make sure that they have more in their pocket.  Q    So there is a guarantee from the White House?  That's the position of the White House right now -- that middle-class American should not -- MR. SPICER:  The position of the White House is that the goal of this President's tax plan is to provide them and lower-income people with more money in their pocket and a tax cut, yes. Thank you, guys, very much.  I look forward to seeing you at the signing. END  1:54 P.M. EDT